October 27, 2015

George Lucas and Mellody Hobson Give to Diversity

George Lucas Family Foundation Endows Scholarship Fund

With an endowment of ten million dollars, the George Lucas Family Foundation has given a tremendous boost to the The School of Cinematic Arts’ mission to recruit talented students from communities that are underrepresented in the entertainment industry. The gift will establish the The George Lucas Foundation Endowed Student Support Fund for Diversity at the School.

This endowment represents the largest single donation for student support in the Cinema School’s history. African American or Hispanic students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels will receive priority consideration for financial support from the fund. Student support will be split equally between male and female students, who will be known as George Lucas Scholars or Mellody Hobson Scholars. The first recipients will be awarded for the fall of 2016.

“George Lucas and Mellody Hobson are inspiring leaders in their fields, and tremendous friends to the USC community,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. "This gift will nurture the next generation of artists, supporting scholarships that enhance access in the cinematic arts, while bringing new and diverse voices and stories into our lives."

“Hispanic and African American storytellers are underrepresented in the entertainment industry,” Lucas said. “It is Mellody’s and my privilege to provide this assistance to qualified students who want to contribute their unique experience and talent to telling their stories.”

 Hobson speaking at commencement

"We are so grateful to George and Mellody for their continued support of the School of Cinematic Arts, and in particular for this amazing gift, and their recognition of the need to encourage the Hispanic and African American storytellers of tomorrow,” said USC School of Cinematc Arts Dean Elizabeth M. Daley.

In addition to the Lucas Family Foundation’s fund, the School of Cinematic Arts has recently received a number of endowment gifts specifically earmarked for student support including: the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Fund for Student Support, the Shriram Family Graduate Student Support Fund, and the Kelly & Ron Meyer Family Fund for Student Support.

Student Support endowments enhance USC’s commitment to access and affordability by ensuring that qualified students are not denied the opportunity of attending the School because of financial circumstances.